Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
The following excerpt is taken from 'Blunt's Scriptual Coincidences' 16th edition dating from 1888.
I think undesignedness may be traced in this passage, both in what is expressed and what is omitted. It is usual for one who invents a story which wishes to be believed, to be careful that its several parts hang well together - to make its conclusions follow from its premises - and to show how they follow. He naturally considers that he shall be suspected unless his account is probable and consistent, and he labours to provide against that suspicion.
On the other hand, he who is telling the truth, is apt to state his facts and leave them to their fate; he speaks as one having authority, and cares not about the why or wherefore, because it never occurs to him that such particulars are wanted to make his statement credible; and accordingly, if such particulars are discoverable at all, it is most commonly by inference, and incidentally.
Now in the verse of St. Matthew, it is written that "they smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee?"
Had it happened that the records of the other Evangelists had been lost, no critical acuteness could have possibly supplied by conjecture the omission being supplied, the true meaning of the passage must for ever have lain hid; for where is the propriety of asking Christ to "prophesy" who smote Him, when he had the offender before his eyes?
But when we learn from St. Luke (22:64), that "the men that held Jesus blindfolded him" before they asked Him to prophesy who it was that smote Him, we discover what St. Matthew intended to communicate, namely, that they proposed this test of his divine mission, whether, without the use of sight, He could tell who it was that struck Him.
Such an oversight as this in St. Matthew it is difficult to account for any other supposition than the truth of history itself, which sets its author above all solicitude about securing the reception of his conclusions by a cautious display of the grounds wheron they were built.